Social Democrat politicians were on Friday elected governors of the South Bohemian, Moravian-Silesian nad Vysočina regions. In South Bohemia the regional council re-elected Jiří Zimola as governor, while Miroslav Novák was freshly elected governor of Moravia-Silesia. The council of the central Vysočina region re-elected the popular governor Jiří Běhounek. All three regions are now ruled by coalitions of the Social Democrats and Communists following the two parties’ strong showing in last month’s elections. The Social Democrats came first in 11 of the country’s 13 regions where the elections took place.
Counterfeit liquor has claimed its 32nd victim in the Czech Republic after an autopsy on Friday confirmed that a 53-year-old man from Olomouc died of methanol poisoning. The man collapsed while seeking medical attention on Monday, and died while being taken to hospital. Doctors said he also suffered from a cardio-vascular condition, which contributed to his death. Experts warn that methanol-related deaths will continue to appear for months after the authorities discovered the source of the poisonous bootleg liquor.
The High Court in Prague on Friday asked the lower house of Parliament to strip Civic Democrat MP Roman Pekárek of his immunity so that he can take part in a court appeals hearing. Mr Pekárek, who only became MP on Wednesday after he replaced a party colleague of his who stepped down, had previously been sentenced to six years in prison in connection with bribery during his time as deputy mayor of Kolín. The embattled MP on Friday requested that his party membership be suspended, the head of the Civic Democrat deputy group, Zbyněk Stanjura, said.
The lower house of Parliament on Friday voted to remove MP Radek John, of the opposition Public Affairs group, from the chamber’s security and mandate and immunity committees over his return to journalism. Mr John, formerly an investigative reporter, began to work for a commercial Czech TV station but coalition MPs were concerned that he might be releasing classified information. The Social Democrats opposed Mr John’s removal as the opposition lost a majority in the two committees.
The Czech Interior Ministry will revise a bill on free access to information, a spokesman for the ministry said on Friday. The bill has come under criticism from a number of experts and NGOs who say it would in fact restrict access to information that is now available to the public, such as the salaries of some public officials. The ministry spokesman said the decision to revise the bill was taken in order to accommodate the objections.
An Emirates flight from Dubai to Amsterdam made an unscheduled landing at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport on Friday morning after a passenger collapsed on board, a spokeswoman for the airport said. Emergency teams tried to revive the passenger after landing, which occurred at 11.25, but she was pronounced dead soon afterwards. The plane left for its original destination at 13:15.
A memorial plaque dedicated to Czech servicemen who fought in Britain’s RAF during the Second World War was unveiled in a Catholic church in Jihlava on Friday. The plaque bears the names of 22 men from Jihlava and the surrounding area who served as pilots, bomber crews or ground personnel. There are some 1,500 WWII veterans living in the Czech Republic today, according to a veteran association.
Viktoria Plzeň beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 4:0 in their fourth group stage game
in the Europa League on Thursday night. Plzeň went ahead in the 23rd
minute and scored again six minutes before half-time. In the second half,
Plzeň added two more strikes against the Israeli side which offered
resistance. Plzeň, ranked first in their group, need at least one point
from their remaining two games to progress.
Sparta Prague drew 1:1 against Israel’s Kyriat Shmona. The Czechs had a poor start and conceded a goal in the third minute. But Leonard Kweuke scored a superb goal just 20 minutes later from some 40 metres away to keep alive Sparta’s hopes of advancing to the Europa League’s knock-out stage.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych lost to world number one Novak Djokovič 2-6, 6-7 at the ATP World Tour Finals in London on Friday and was knocked out of the tournament. Berdych needed to win at least one set to keep alive his hopes of advancing and was close in the second set. But he spoilt all three set points and lost in a tie-break. The leading Czech player will now move to Prague to prepare for next week’s finals of the Davis Cup in which the Czechs host Spain.
The Czech national hockey team beat Finland 1:0 in their second game of the Karjala Cup in Turku on Friday, earning their second win of the tournament. The Czechs scored a few minutes before the end of the first period when veteran Petr Nedvěd hit the net from up close after a pass from Petr Koukal. The visitors then managed to defend the narrow victory, mainly thanks to goalie Ondřej Pavelec.